On the 1st day of Christmas…

November 26, 2011

Ok, it’s almost countdown to Christmas time! Alas, I always feel a little disheartened when I see the shops stocked with tacky, commercial Advent calendars with synthetic pressed chocolates, that taste like plastic. Who buys those?

So, i’ve scoured around to seek out a few creative alternatives that I like and wanted to share with you. And they’re calorie free. Justification #327 for eating lots on Christmas day.

First up: The eco-friendly stationary people, Lollipop Designs. Create your own poster with this graphic Advent calendar and sticker sheet, a different sticker for each day. Why not?

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Lollipop Designs, Christmas, advent calendar, poster, craft, stationary, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

Lollipop designs, advent calendar, alternative advent calendar, stationary, graphic, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, idealhomemagazine

And I love this idea from The Spotted Sparrow at notonthehighstreet.com. 24 pre-dated blank library cards that you can customise with a suggested festive activity for each day (eat a mince pie, adopt a reindeer, practice Auld Lang Syne, take your hands OUT of the Quality Street tin…). They sit in cute brown paper pockets and come with bakers twine and wooden pegs to hang garland-stylee over a mantlepiece or banister. Ooh er!

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Next up: The lovely Bodie and Fou. Ok, so this idea is slightly more aimed at kids but I wouldn’t say no to a cube a day filled with ‘toys’ and other small but useful things! It’s a bit more pricey at £35.50 but it can be re-used year after year. (please note: toys not included. The idea is you get creative and fill it yourself).

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And lastly, but by no means least is a charming DIY Advent calendar from the creative genius that is Lucy Jane Batchelor. It comes with 25 dated illustrated stickers to create your own wintry scene. Such lovely retro colours. Jolly delightful! – Alice

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Lucy Jane Batchelor, Advent calendar scene, Christmas, advent calendar, craft, devon, ideal home, homeshoppingspy

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here’s a little look at the latest Paumes offering – Paris Creative Couples. It’s full of 18 trendy young brogue-wearing couples – elegant Parisians with His ‘n’ Hers Apple Macs and fun-sounding job titles. A bit sickening perhaps – in the same way that commuting couples who snog at the station are – but if you can see past the pink love hearts, this is a beautiful book packed with inspirational interiors that are achievable with imagination and effort – not just bags of money…

“As the pigeons pecked at his head, which poked through the sky-light, David realised Cheri always gave him the smallest screen AND the worst seat…” This isn’t a quote from the book, by the way. As we’ve discussed before, it’s in Japanese, so you have to make it up yourself. This is the lovely attic flat belonging to Stylist and Designer Cheri Messerli and her OH, Creative Director David Rager. (Incidentally, you can see photos of their old home and a sketch Cheri did of David’s head on a dog’s body at over on The Selby.) Of course, I’m jealous of their ceiling beams and general gorgeousness. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

Here’s the stylish parquet-floored flat of Aurélie Dorard and Romuald Stivine, creators of The Lazy Dog. I love the grey walls – doesn’t the blush (or are we calling it salmon pink? pale coral?!) painted mirror frame look fabulous in front of them? I also like the Elephant Grey vintage Eames rocker…and the vintage chairs…and the hanging wicker chair (just visible in the mirror’s reflection!)…and the wooden lampshade…and the advertising sign…and, let’s be honest, Romuald is rather nice, too…

You can pre-order this stunning book direct from Paumes using PayPal (here’s a link to a page that ISN’T in Japanese!) – or keep your eyes peeled at Bodie and Fou, or Ella Doran – two of the main UK stockists – as no doubt this new Paumes addition will be arriving soon! – Ellie


Last weekend, I went to Ella Doran‘s lovely little shop on Cheshire Street to check out Fumie Shimoji’s exhibition of photos from his new Edition Paumes book, London Family Style. Here’s ceramicist Lubna Chowdhary and illustrator Nick Higgins in their airy home…

My passion for Paumes books cannot be quenched. Yes, they’re in Japanese and I can’t understand a word. But that adds to their overall cool-ness, as we’ve established on here before. You can buy them direct from Paumes, or from Ella Doran’s shop, or Bodie and Fou (Karine Kong’s home is featured in the new book).

Now, THAT’s a dog. This happy home belongs to clothing designer Nicole Frobusch and Paul Winter-Hart, drummer for the band Kula Shaker. Govinda jaya jaya. Ah, that takes me back to what is affectionately referred to as my ‘Ying-Yang-necklace-joss-stick-inhalation’ phase. Sigh.

I love this shot of designer Rosa Wiland and her daughter:

The homes in this book are not owned by the rich and famous – these are spaces inhabited by creative, interesting, arty people who have used imagination and style to create warm, quirky, cosy places to live. There are lots of ‘ideas to steal’, and plenty of gorgeous rooms to ogle, but the homes are not overly styled or unrealistically perfect – they’re full of colour, clutter and love. – Ellie


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The ROBOTS are coming

September 27, 2010

Beep. Beep. Whirr. BEEEEEEEEP. Retro robots are everywhere this season – so, get with the programme:

If you’re in London, you might have spotted Kram/Weisshaar’s amazing ‘Outrace‘ installation in Trafalgar Square last week (commissioned by the London Design Festival) which involved gigantic robotic arms writing messages from members of the public in the air. Messages ranged from “Caitlin, will you marry me? Love Kevin, not the robot” to “noah is a chicken backside“, but the overall effect was pretty darn cool and, as one message contributor noted, “better than Facebook“. If you’re rocking the robot revival, head to Rose and Grey for robot cushions and bed linen (shown above), then pop along to those stylish French ladies at Bodie and Fou to find replica 1940s-style Japanese Lilliput robots:

Which you can also see on Retro Planet

…and in the new 2011 IKEA catalogue. The stylist was obviously very busy collecting these chaps before the shoot. Or perhaps she just bought two and they multiplied when her back was turned:

Head to SuperniceCaroline McGrath and Ferm Living for robot wall stickers…

Next, visit Graham and Green for robot mugs, Firebox for robot salt and pepper pots, and Tsena for robot paperweights…

Let’s finish our robot round up with a little look at Bold and Noble‘s stunning Alphabot prints…

Right, I’m off to plan our March issue and apply industrial quantities of Touche Éclat to my under-eye area in an attempt to conceal my post-London-Design-Festival fatigue. Sigh. – Ellie

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Quirky Advent calendar

November 26, 2009

Time’s ticking on – so you better be quick if you want to order an Advent calendar for this year. This lovely DIY calendar kit from Bodie and Fou caught my eye recently. 

It’s 24 flat-packed boxes, ready for you to fold. Each little box has two faces with super cute designs from Noix de Coc and the other two faces have been left blank for you to customise…then you (or Father Christmas!) can fill them with sweets and gifts.
The fab thing about these little boxes is they can be hung on the Christmas tree, on a wall garland or displayed in a row on the mantelpiece, plus, you can re-use them year after year. Chouette! – Ellie

These funky maps of London and Paris from Bodie and Fou are prints of paper-cuts by Famille Summerbelle. They’re £45 each.

BF641

Following on from yesterday’s post about maps, I thought these were perfect for today! I’ve got my eye on the London one! – Ellie

bodie